Sunday, February 17 – The Cloud

Meeting Tom at the ‘Cock Hotel’, Stretford, at 10am this morning, we wended our way towards Altrincham, wondering where to go. Cheshire seems pretty well ‘worked’.  Unconsciously, we slid through Altrincham towards Ashley, but just skirting the village, we at length came to rest at Castle Mill in the valley of the Bollin.  As usual, although we had not come to any decision over the route, we just ‘went’, our sub-conscious minds settling the matter, so it would seem.  Leaving the bikes holding a hedge up, we took a walk through the glorious woods that line each side of the valley, returning some time later, our feet, or rather shoes, a muddy sight.  We always find where the most mud is.  After climbing out of the valley, we took the Wilmslow road, soon reaching Wilmslow common, which we crossed into the suburbs.  We soon got lost, and wandered down a rutty track, and after many oozy, slimy adventures, we reached Davenport Green.  On known roads again, we traversed Brook’s lane to Alderley Edge, and then another mile to Alderley Cross for lunch.

After lunch we decided to go to Buglawton, the scene of the Christmas ‘gorge’ of December 23rd last.  Along the pleasant Congleton road, we sped, through Monk’s Heath to Siddington, stopping at Marton to take a peep into the half-timbered old church.  Two miles short of Congleton, we turned left along a pretty byway for North Rode, reaching the Macclesfield – Congleton road, but soon leaving it for a lane which led us to Havannah, the home of the famous cigars of that name.  Crossing the Dane, we got lost once more, and followed a lane which had long since become a river bed, and was full of flowing water!  Anyway, we got out of it, and soon came to Buglawton.  A short run brought us to Tanhouse Farm at the foot of the Cloud, a prominent eminence, which usually command a fine prospect over the Cheshire plains.  As it was far too early for tea, we had a walk up this hill.  The climb, 1,000 ft, is not very steep, but stony, and is very exhilarating.  We found that the day was very misty, and as no view could be had, we came down for tea.  While we were inside the old fashioned, homely place, some motorists – motorcyclists – went out, bragging over the half hour return, which they were going to do – to Manchester.  We left at 7pm making to Buglawton, but this time making no mistake over the short cut to Marton.  Here, we lit up.  The walk must have done us good, for we made a terrific pace, soon coming to Alderley again.  During the run from Wilmslow to Cheadle we heard that all four of the motorcyclists whom we had seen at Mrs Lancaster’s were broken down by the roadside!  I left Tom at Kingsway End, continuing the fast run to Stretford, where I met two of the CTC.  At Barton, one of them punctured, and we had some trouble finding it.  We got it right, however, and all returned home together, via Worsley, Walkden and Moses Gate, reaching home about 11pm.

80 miles